It’s Time to #ThankYourMentor

LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with 380 million members worldwide, and my FAVORITE social network, is leveraging the platform and community to mobilize members to mentor. MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership (MENTOR) has teamed up with LinkedIn to elevate the impact of mentoring relationships and call on more adults to mentor young people.  LinkedIn_Banner

MENTOR’s research in a report called The Mentoring Effect found that young adults who were at risk for falling off track but who had a mentor were 55 percent more likely to go on to college and 78 percent more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities. Yet, one in three young people is reaching age 19 without ever connecting to a mentor either formally through a program or informally through family, community or social networks.

Right now, on mentor.linkedin.com, L‎inkedIn is featuring member stories that demonstrate the potential of mentoring relationships both in the workplace and in communities between adults and young people. LinkedIn Influencers, a select group of leaders in business and industry who publish articles on the platform, will also focus their upcoming posts on the topic of mentoring.

As a key player in this effort, MENTOR is providing expertise on ethe key ingredients of quality youth mentoring as well as thousands of volunteer mentoring opportunities for LinkedIn members to connect with. These opportunities are sourced from MENTOR’s Mentoring Connector, which is the only national database of mentoring programs that are screened for safety and effectiveness using the national standards for quality youth mentoring.

The Power of Celebrity (Part 2)

When I first started this blog, I wrote a piece where I shared my musings regarding celebrity philanthropy. Although in theory the idea of famous people giving back and doing good seems to make sense, there are times when I question the intent of celebrities attaching their name to a cause or them creating a non-profit. I’m really concerned about the latter – especially if said non profit is being led by individuals who have not one clue about how to run an organization successfully.

Recently, some of my faith was restored.

I met Susan Taylor (former editor in chief at Essence Magazine, style icon and true philanthropist) at a fundraiser for one of Russell Simmons’ charities. Susan emitted a genuine warmth and energy from the time she said, ‘hello‘. There was an authenticity about her that couldn’t be denied. I later found out that the cause she created, National Cares Mentoring Network, is one which she is truly passionate about and deeply committed to.

I was invited to the National Cares Mentoring Leadership Conference this past weekend to discuss simple yet strategic communications strategies that the chapters across the country could implement. During the welcome luncheon, Susan expressed why the work of mentoring in the African American community was a responsibility that for too long had gone ignored. The futures of the next generation depended on the actions we took now. As she spoke about the painful history from which African Americans have come in this country, I was flooded with emotion. She was right: we owed it to those who came before us and those who would come after. She asked questions throughout the conference just like we all did; she shied away from applause and stayed at the same hotel that the other conference attendees did.

She’s real. She walks the walk and talks the talk. She’s got my support.Now it’s your turn. Find out how you can make a difference.